Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bay State Reading Institute case study

Up at the State House this afternoon for this:
Updating as we go...the report does not yet appear to be online. Upshot from summary: "[Bay State Reading Institute] is not a quick fix reading intervention...leaders and teachers using performance data to differentiate classroom instruction, which, in turn enhanced teacher culture." It's worth noting, as well, that BSRI has a line item in the budget, which the Governor has tried to either eliminate or combine with other lines every year he's been in office. 

Apologies in advance for names I miss.

Ed Moscovitch, Executive Director, Bay State Reading Institute
what difference the work makes for teachers and for kids

Senator DiDomenico: "big supporter of BSRI...have seen it in the most important school to me...the one my children attend"
everyone told me when I moved to Everett, go to a particular school
"send your kids to this particular school if you know what's going on in the city"
former principal was the architect, who was driving this program
this school became a level 1 school
"all the people who were telling me to send my kids to a particular school..were saying [our] school was good"
make all of our kids succeed, not just a few
"not just a supporter, I'm also a client, I guess"
"proud to have this school that my kid is attending just getting better and better"

Rep. Orrall:
four schools have the program in place
"intervention is absolutely needed...need someone coming along aside, showing you how to become a good strong reader"
way that teachers learn to become better educators
"when someone comes alongside of you and shows you how to do it, it makes all the difference"

presentation from Rennie Center, Jennifer Poulos, Associate Director:
"driving change in school takes hard work..and it takes hard work that takes a number of years"
strong school leadership with district-level buy-in and clear direction and goals
regular use of data for differentiated instruction
intensive progress monitoring
teacher-created leveled instructional materials
coaching of teachers intensively
staffing support and interventionists with significant workload
teacher customization of instruction
higher scores on student assessment; student buy-in and engagement; improved teacher behavior and and interaction; improved student confidence, self-management, and skills
"key soft skills that we hear so much about"
"changed the hearts and minds of educators in a lot of Everett schools"

former principal of the Keverian School John Obremski (who was sworn into the Melrose School Committee last night; he's now principal at the Lafayette School) speaking now: discussions of changes within the district
teachers working in isolation rather than in collaboration
teachers working hard, need help working smart
"kids having conversations" among their groups; that's how they build vocabulary
reading coach turned him down several times before accepting
change, a lot of hard work, needs a strong reading coach
former coach Michelle Rooney (now Title I Coordinator in Everett): took the position, committed to the position
"was leery to take on another program"
"we were a team...we were working together"
"had diagnostics districtwide, but we weren't using them consistently"
"nothing really deciding their instructional planning"
"data driving instruction...what the data was, how to read it, interpret it, to drive instruction"
method for each child
Obremski: "the data doesn't lie...not really an evaluative situation...let's fix the problem and celebrate the successes at the next data cycle"
keys to support through the BSRI coaches
common planning time for teachers: "that planning time was just as important as time in the classroom"
Rooney: long-term commitment made a difference in teacher buy-in
school had been doing whole class instruction; expectation that now would be differentiating for students; much higher expectations of teachers
small group instruction, differentiated, many different things going on
maximizing reading instruction
Obremski: "we're not worried about the scores at the end of the first year...the teachers are learning"
want to see kids in groups, want to see them in conversations, teachers in higher grades said the kids expect to be talking all the time
"and that's what they should be doing"
"building vocabulary, especially with our English learners, especially with our special education students"
are we going to change what we're doing, or "do a stand and deliver model"; can't really do that in this day and age

Q from North Adams: challenge is getting parent involvement
Obremski: invite parents to come into the room, have them run a workstation
parents recognizing that not all kids have the same knowledge, the same background

Q: is there carryover into other subjects?
Yes, after comfort level increases "that's just the natural progression"

Moscovitch: much more than teaching kids to read
leadership from the district, but supporting teachers as well
"teachers are saying kids are doing things they never thought possible"
"when teachers come to see what's possible, they really like working together...it changes their perception"
"hard work, but it's really satisfying"

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